Woman escapes, home damaged in natural gas explosion

DAYTON — Firefighters said an 83-year-old Dayton woman was not hurt, but will be displaced after a natural gas explosion damaged her house.

Crews were first dispatched to the 100 block of Edith Street around 3:30 a.m. Thursday on a reported structure fire.

Dayton Fire Capt. Mike Fasnacht said crews initially found no evidence of a fire, but the back wall of the home was dislodged over two feet from the structure.

Fasnacht said there was more evidence that the damage was caused by a natural gas explosion including several windows that were blown out. The homeowner told crews she lit the pilot light to her furnace earlier in the night, which firefighters believe could be the source of the explosion.

The homeowner, 83-year-old Kattie Gamble, told our crew she was sleeping when she awoke to a loud noise and went into her basement to find the source.

“I took a hose and started putting [water] on the clothes that were hanging and on fire,” she said.

Gamble later evacuated the house to meet firefighters as they arrived on scene. She did not suffer any injuries.

Fasnacht said gas was leaking inside the house from an unknown source, and investigators believe the furnace caused the explosion when the gas reached it. A fire investigator will investigate, along with housing services to check the stability of the structure.

Fasnacht said the house is unstable for now and Gamble will be displaced.

A damage estimate was not immediately available.

No other injuries were reported.

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